The Cancer Information Service (CIS) was established in 1975 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide accurate, up-to-date information about cancer to the nation. Although the CIS has in the past served as a venue for cancer communications research, up until very recently the research capacity of the CIS was underutilized. In 1993, this situation changed dramatically with funding from the NCI to form the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium (CISRC). In this article the CISRC is described for the first time, including its research agenda and administrative structure. Early indications from the CISRC suggest that the CIS can serve as one of the premiere laboratories in the country for cancer communications and cancer control research. Several factors are suggested for the early success of the CISRC in sustaining this collaborative effort with the CIS. The progress that has been made by the CISRC could provide a useful model for other large health information programs to maximize their contributions to behavioral science and health promotion research, as well as to establish their own program of policy-relevant research.